Rich Nuggets in Romans 14:9

By Wayne Jackson

Due to our frantically busy lives, there are so many things that we are prone to overlook when we read the sacred Scriptures. Consider, for example, Romans 14:9:

“For to this end Christ died and lived, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.”

“For” is a conjunction which explains a previous statement, namely that, “…we are the Lord’s” (vs. 8). We belong to Christ because he died for us (cf. Acts 20:28).

The expression “this end” translates the Greek eis touto. Eis is a preposition which expresses a goal, and so it is here rendered “end.” Compare Acts 2:38 where believers are commanded to repent and be immersed “for (eis) the remission of sins.” The goal of the penitent believer’s baptism is forgiveness of sins. Make a note on the correlation between these two passages.

But notice further the order of the verbs. Christ “died and lived.” The apostle does not say that he “lived and died,” as though “lived” referred to the Lord’s earthly ministry; rather, the Savior “died and lived.” The second verb refers to the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead.

Robertson identifies it as an ingressive aorist form, meaning, Jesus “came to life” (413). This is why the ASV rendered the phrase “lived again.” Christ’s authority as Lord is authenticated by the historical fact of his bodily resurrection from the tomb (cf. Eph. 1:20-23). Thus, record in your margin: Resurrection basis for authority.

Then observe this exciting nugget. Jesus was raised from the dead that he might be “Lord of both the dead and the living.” Actually the term rendered “Lord” is a verb in the Greek Testament. Its significance is: “that he might rule over the dead and the living.”

Now here is the important point: If Jesus was raised to “rule over” the dead, then the dead must be conscious. If human beings cease to exist at death, as materialists allege, it could hardly be affirmed that Christ is exercising dominion over them. Underline “Lord of the dead,” and note: Dead are conscious.

Sources/Footnotes
  • Robertson, A.T. 1931. Word Pictures in the New Testament. Vol. IV. Nashville, TN: Broadman.
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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.